2 Chronicles 6:12-42 (Part 2) – Nothing Can Give Him the Glory That He Deserves!

Posted: July 20, 2020 in 14-2 Chronicles

2 Chronicles 6:12-42 (Part 2 of 4)

Solomon’s Prayer of Dedication

Opening Illustration/Comments

A long time ago before September 11, 2001, I was able to take a weekend trip to New York City. I guess this would have been like in 1998 or 1999 sometime. I did all the sightseeing stuff. Statue of Liberty and things like that. That weekend was the opening weekend of the Broadway season there was this big street performance on this huge stage in Time Square. I was able to be there for that amid this sea of people watching each theatre to little bits of what they first productions of the year were going to be. It apparently was an annual thing in New York at the time so there was so many people. I gave me the impression of what it would be like to be in Time Square on New Year’s Eve (except this was during the day). I got to eat some pretty cool local places. I got to go to Rockefeller Center and take a tour of NBC’s studios there. I got to go to the Empire State Building and marvel at its architecture and go to its iconic observation patio. But the highlight of the trip was going to the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. To stand below these buildings and their 107 stories was awe inspiring to this country boy from Upstate South Carolina. And the World Trade Centers had this express elevator for tourists that takes you from the lobby to the observation lounge on the top floor in less than a minute. And unlike the Empire State Building where the observation patio is outside, the observation lounge in the World Trade Center was completely indoors. I guess for safety reasons or whatever. It was a memorable thing. What makes it memorable more so than any other place in New York City that I visited that weekend is to think in just two or three years after I visited that place, it is now gone without a trace. This structure that was so mighty in the New York skyline. No longer there at all. Replaced, sure. But the original two buildings. Gone now without a trace.

It is the same with reading about Solomon’s Temple. You read about how magnificent it was. You read in Scripture about that. Based on the descriptions in the Bible it was magnificent. It was a commanding structure over the Jerusalem skyline. It was of course built to honor God so in David and Solomon’s minds, it HAD to be magnificent and commanding. It was beautiful and ornate. It the best of engineering and construction at the time. It was the crown jewel of Jerusalem. But it is gone without a trace now. The only thing that remains of it in this the 21st century is the western wall of the Temple grounds, also known now as the Wailing Wall. In all its magnificence and grandeur, it is nothing but a ruin now. It was built to honor God but even then it was made by human hands and thus was not going to be eternal. It was built to honor God but even then it cannot and could not capture the wonder, the grandeur, the majesty, the all-powerful significance, the omniscience, the omnipotence, the glory of God. We can never build anything that will give God the glory He deserves.

Even the grandest things we build for secular reasons or for holy reasons are temporary. When talking of holy structures, in there temporariness, they are thus not fully worthy of the thing they praise, God. God is not temporary. No matter how grand we build something to God, we are limited by our human knowledge as to His greatness. So, even our grandest homage to God is incomplete. But even though the Temple was grand to us, it was not grand enough to capture the majesty of God. But even though that was true, God allowed His presence to be part of this feeble attempt to give Him the glory that He deserves. He gave His approval to it by His presence there. He gave His approval to it though it was an imperfect attempt to give Him full glory. He gave His approval to it though it was made by us who because of sin are limited, because of sin we are temporary minded, because of sin we are imperfect. He made it holy and perfect by His presence.

It is that idea of understanding the grandeur and perfection of God that I thought about this morning when reading this passage, 2 Chronicles 6:12-42. Let’s read through it this morning, together, with that idea in mind:

Scripture Passage

12 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the entire community of Israel, and he lifted his hands in prayer. 13 Now Solomon had made a bronze platform 7 1⁄2 feet long, 7 1⁄2 feet wide, and 4 1⁄2 feet high[a] and had placed it at the center of the Temple’s outer courtyard. He stood on the platform, and then he knelt in front of the entire community of Israel and lifted his hands toward heaven. 14 He prayed,

“O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in all of heaven and earth. You keep your covenant and show unfailing love to all who walk before you in wholehearted devotion. 15 You have kept your promise to your servant David, my father. You made that promise with your own mouth, and with your own hands you have fulfilled it today.

16 “And now, O Lord, God of Israel, carry out the additional promise you made to your servant David, my father. For you said to him, ‘If your descendants guard their behavior and faithfully follow my Law as you have done, one of them will always sit on the throne of Israel.’ 17 Now, O Lord, God of Israel, fulfill this promise to your servant David.

18 “But will God really live on earth among people? Why, even the highest heavens cannot contain you. How much less this Temple I have built! 19 Nevertheless, listen to my prayer and my plea, O Lord my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is making to you. 20 May you watch over this Temple day and night, this place where you have said you would put your name. May you always hear the prayers I make toward this place. 21 May you hear the humble and earnest requests from me and your people Israel when we pray toward this place. Yes, hear us from heaven where you live, and when you hear, forgive.

22 “If someone wrongs another person and is required to take an oath of innocence in front of your altar at this Temple, 23 then hear from heaven and judge between your servants—the accuser and the accused. Pay back the guilty as they deserve. Acquit the innocent because of their innocence.

24 “If your people Israel are defeated by their enemies because they have sinned against you, and if they turn back and acknowledge your name and pray to you here in this Temple, 25 then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel and return them to this land you gave to them and to their ancestors.

26 “If the skies are shut up and there is no rain because your people have sinned against you, and if they pray toward this Temple and acknowledge your name and turn from their sins because you have punished them, 27 then hear from heaven and forgive the sins of your servants, your people Israel. Teach them to follow the right path, and send rain on your land that you have given to your people as their special possession.

28 “If there is a famine in the land or a plague or crop disease or attacks of locusts or caterpillars, or if your people’s enemies are in the land besieging their towns—whatever disaster or disease there is— 29 and if your people Israel pray about their troubles or sorrow, raising their hands toward this Temple, 30 then hear from heaven where you live, and forgive. Give your people what their actions deserve, for you alone know each human heart. 31 Then they will fear you and walk in your ways as long as they live in the land you gave to our ancestors.

32 “In the future, foreigners who do not belong to your people Israel will hear of you. They will come from distant lands when they hear of your great name and your strong hand and your powerful arm. And when they pray toward this Temple, 33 then hear from heaven where you live, and grant what they ask of you. In this way, all the people of the earth will come to know and fear you, just as your own people Israel do. They, too, will know that this Temple I have built honors your name.

34 “If your people go out where you send them to fight their enemies, and if they pray to you by turning toward this city you have chosen and toward this Temple I have built to honor your name, 35 then hear their prayers from heaven and uphold their cause.

36 “If they sin against you—and who has never sinned?—you might become angry with them and let their enemies conquer them and take them captive to a foreign land far away or near. 37 But in that land of exile, they might turn to you in repentance and pray, ‘We have sinned, done evil, and acted wickedly.’ 38 If they turn to you with their whole heart and soul in the land of their captivity and pray toward the land you gave to their ancestors—toward this city you have chosen, and toward this Temple I have built to honor your name— 39 then hear their prayers and their petitions from heaven where you live, and uphold their cause. Forgive your people who have sinned against you.

40 “O my God, may your eyes be open and your ears attentive to all the prayers made to you in this place.

41

“And now arise, O Lord God, and enter your resting place,

    along with the Ark, the symbol of your power.

May your priests, O Lord God, be clothed with salvation;

    may your loyal servants rejoice in your goodness.

42

O Lord God, do not reject the king you have anointed.

    Remember your unfailing love for your servant David.”.

Passage Analysis

In this passage, we see that Solomon marveled that God, the maker of the universe who is vast, all powerful and supreme above all things, would be willing to allow His presence to be in a Temple made by man and to be among sinful human beings. God cannot be contained by anything that we build as humans. That He would deign to allow a fingertip of His total magnificence to be manifest in the Temple we must remember how amazing that is. Then, think of how God allows His Spirit to live in us as those who have accepted Christ as our Savior is even more amazing. We also marvel at the fact that God, through His Son, Jesus Christ, lived among us in our dirty, sinful world filling with dirty, sinful people was to reveal His great love for us. Jesus was God living among us. Though He is great, He was present among us in the flesh. Although He is the ruler and maker of the universe in which we operate, He wants to live within us through the Holy Spirit and know us personally. Mighty and personal all at the same time. Maker of the Universe and magnificence beyond compare but willing to get down and dirty with us personally.

Life Application

I think the thing that we need to takeaway this morning is to understand the vastness of God, to understand how far beyond true comprehension He is to us. Let that sink in for a minute. God is the Supreme Being above all things. He has all knowledge. There is nothing He does not know for He created all that there is to know. He is eternal and everlasting. He pre-existed time and space. He started into motion the time and space plane in which we live. He is above and beyond. He is the I AM. He is perfection. He is holiness. He is purity. It is that grandeur that we should be in awe of each and every day.

We must realize that we are temporary. We are fleeting. We are imperfect. Even the things that we build to honor our God are imperfect and fleeting and temporary. This makes everything we build and everything we do to honor Him insufficient to honor Him in the way that He deserves. Let us remember that the next time that we begin to get demanding when it comes to God. Help us to remember the proper relationship of ourselves before God. He is the Creator and we are the created. He is not our puppet. He is not our vending machine. He is magnificence beyond anything we can think of. And then there’s us. When you think how we sometimes get very demanding with God, in comparison to who He is, it can be truly humbling.

Yet, at the same time that He is all this vastness and greatness and limitlessness that I just described, He wants to be present with us personally. He wants to dwell in our hearts. He knows us personally whether we recognize His existence or not. He wants to be in relationship with us. He was to allow His presence to manifest itself in our souls. Even though we are temporary, imperfect and fleeting, the Ruler of the Universe wants to know us. He cares for us so much that He came to the world in the flesh to live among us and die for our sins. He cares for us so much that when we believe in Jesus, He sends His Spirit to live in us. Everything else is temporary and fleeting compared to that. Nothing we can do can give Him enough glory for reaching down to be with us and reaching down to live in us. We can’t built a structure that is glorious enough. We can build a structure to last long enough. We can’t do anything that can give Him the glory He deserves for what He has done for us personally much less the glory He deserves just for being God!

Amen and Amen.

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